Maybe I’m late to the party, I’m not sure, but I just stumbled across this and wanted to share it. 50 Problems in 50 Days is the brainchild of Peter Smart (by name and by nature) who is “on an adventure to explore the limits of design’s ability to solve social problems, big and small”.
To do this, he attempted to solve 50 social problems in 50 days, whilst spending time with 12 of Europe’s top design companies. The problems involve everything from solving his own complicated travel itinerary and finding a power source for his MacBook to this – one of my particular favourites so far – solving the problem of chatterboxes in quiet carriages.
Some of his solutions are quite inventive!
I was delighted to see Econsultancy pulling up the ITV Player for its overuse of frankly irrelevant and inappropriate pre-roll advertising. In this day and age, I would expect an organisation of the size and heritage of ITV to have a far better grasp of both technology and user experience, but it seems that the need to drive advertising revenues has overshadowed the fundamentals of providing an engaging experience for second-screen audiences.
In case you’ve never experienced this for yourself, ITV’s on-demand player subjects the viewer to a minimum of three pre-roll ads played back-to-back, which they must watch through to the end before they get to the content they’ve asked for. That’s a lot of irrelevant messaging to ingest before getting anywhere near something of value. To make things worse, ITV don’t appear to be using any kind of targeting technology to personalise the experience for the viewer, which means that ads are somewhat generic in appeal, disregarding one of the most crucial advantages online video delivery holds over traditional broadcast channels.
This will almost certainly reduce casual viewing – and therefore eroding content discovery and audience growth – rendering the ITV Player only really suitable for die-hard fans looking for a catch-up service for programmes they absolutely cannot see elsewhere else. More casual viewing is too much of a chore, especially given that there are so many alternative on-demand players that offer a better experience for the user.
Pro Tip: If you want to watch ITV Live (rather than on-demand) the TV Catchup app from GZero, available for iOS devices, lets you watch ITV live on your mobile device without packing the experience with unnecessary barriers.
Okay, so it needs some refining, but Russian company Displair has come up with an exciting new technology that projects images on to a stream of cold fog, and uses an infra-red camera to track hand gestures. Having boot-strapped this prototype together with minimal government funding, I image it’s only a matter of time before they get some serious funding together!
Read the full story at TechCrunch…
It seems that the humble mobile app is gaining traction in the offline world, as American home improvement chain Lowe’s have announced plans to replace their checkout scanners with some 42,000 iPhones, according to Mobile Commerce Daily.
The idea behind the radical switch is to enable Lowe’s staff to provide a better service to their customers, through on-the-spot inventory checks, access to helpful information and how-to videos, and eventually handling credit card transactions.
This is a bold move, and an exciting one too, as it exploits mobile for its greatest strength – mobility – rather than just another way to reach an audience.
With companies liked Square enabling anyone to take credit card payments via iOS devices, it’ll be great to see smaller retailers making this technology work to their advantage soon.
Last week I wrote an article for the Tech Notes column in The Journal giving one tiny example of how marketers can unite their online and offline activities to create a single seamless user experience.
This is a fascinating topic for me, and something that keeps me up at night scribbling in my Moleskine, so it was great to share a couple of ideas...
I was reading a blog post recently by a member of our Riff Raff UI design and development team, Richard Powell, and thought I'd share a story that I felt was quite appropriate.
It's a story that helps us to understand how human beings make decisions, and how important it is to cater for both the emotional and the logical side of any customer experience…
No successful web project ever started out with a list of KPI's and conversion targets. It's the creative vision that sparks a project into life and drives it to fruition.
But it's all too easy to let our enthusiasm for the genius idea get the better of us, and quickly find ourselves saddled with an expensive collection of digital tumbleweed. But there is a better way…
A conversation I had at studio Riff Raff the other day got me thinking about why I started up in business for myself. It seems so long ago now (almost 13 years in fact) that I could barely recall.
I felt sure it was something to do with freedom and the ability to take holidays whenever I pleased, but when I really thought about it, the answer was actually quite surprising…
Okay, I take it back – earlier this year I moved my blog to Tumblr because I found the feature-bloat in WordPress a bit of a ball-ache. Tumblr’s lightweight feature-set is great for quick, impulsive post-writing, which actually encouraged me to write more
But user experience is not everything. Performance and delivery has to count for something, and their constant server problems meant that my site was down more than it was up. I lost numerous posts to server failures and who knows how much traffic over the months, so I’ve switched my blog back to WordPress.
It may have a wealth of features I’ll never get around to using, but at least I can take responsibility for reliable hosting myself, and never have to see that “We’re Sorry” page again!
Good riddance Tumblr – it was fun while it lasted!